In society, there seem to be just as many negative fans than there are those who pull for a certain team/player. By negative fan, I mean someone who roots for a team or player to lose. Whether it be for jealous reasons or revenge or because that team/player is a threat to their favorite, that attitude ranks somewhere between childish and self-destructive.
How did this type of behavior come about? My belief is its origins are from, for lack of a better term, losers? Let’s start with people who think Tiger Woods’ infidelity was so heinous, he doesn’t deserve to ever win again. That’s understandable, especially if the offended person was a victim of a cheating spouse. But don’t waste time hoping for his demise. Rather, put him out of your mind completely. Should you be addicted to watching professional golf, select someone you relate to, whose game you admire, or simply watch for the purest competition of golf, which is the player vs. the course. It’s a great deal healthier.
Those in Baltimore who wanted to see the Colts fall flat on their facemasks after bolting town under the cover of darkness could be excused for spewing venom at their former favorite squad, but it’s never been proven that curses, hexes and voodoo work (well, maybe in Chicago, but no longer in Boston). Instead, choose another team (and not “the one that plays the Colts”) or follow another sport. The Orioles were still in town.
From 1991-95, I was associate head basketball coach at USC. This was during the time of the OJ Simpson double murder case. Our director of athletics called a meeting and had a professional counselor come in so we could discuss our feelings. One of the questions brought up by an employee of the department (who, granted, was an SC graduate and whose only place of employment was in Heritage Hall) was, “How are we supposed to deal when our UCLA friends make jokes?”
This inane question elicited the remark from me which didn’t increase my chances of being on the guest list of upcoming Trojan events. “Wait. This isn’t a USC-UCLA thing. It’s about two people getting brutally murdered. I mean, would we even be having this meeting if the suspect was Kareem instead of OJ?”
I know of a coach who lost his job and spent more time badmouthing his old school and its new coach (actually, there have been scores of situations identical to this one) than he did when he was coaching. A remark I made to a friend regarding people like this was that there were two things that could happen in a game - the team lost, or it won.
If they lost - and the coach was told the former coach was gloating, it didn’t make the current coach feel any worse because, for anybody who has ever coached, you know that after a loss, you can’t feel worse. However, if the team won and the coach heard that he was being slandered around town, well, it seems news like this can always make the win feel a little sweeter.
So, those of you in Cleveland - or for that matter, those who want to see LeBron fail in his new digs at South Beach - rethink it. With all the talent he has, and all that’s surrounding him, chances are you’ll be disappointed way more than you’ll be happy.
Anytime you think of adopting this “root against” attitude, just remember that if you do:
“You have no control over your happiness; it’s now in the hands of someone else.”